Man drowns at Colleges Crossing
A FAMILY outing to a popular swimming spot in Ipswich turned to devastation when a 45-year-old man disappeared and drowned.
Onlookers at Colleges Crossing in the Brisbane River tried desperately to save the man who they said went under the water and “vanished from sight” about 1.30pm Saturday.
Frantic searches ended with the discovery of the man’s body on the bottom of the river about 4pm.
The pleasant scene at Chuwar turned to desperation as onlookers tried frantically to find the man who police said was a frequent visitor to Colleges Crossing.
Witnesses were joined by Queensland Fire and Rescue Service swift water rescue crews, police divers and paramedics.
Two divers searched 700 metres downstream aided by flippers because of the current while the State Emergency Service used boats.
The man’s girlfriend stood helplessly at the banks of the river flanked by her three young sons, all unable to help in the search.
She left the scene a few hours later accompanied by her family but was too distressed to talk publicly.
Ipswich Senior Sergeant Bob Phillips said emergency service crews found the man’s body on the bottom of the river where he disappeared.
“He was near the edge where there was very little current. It hadn’t moved him anywhere,” Snr Sgt Phillips said.
“We don’t know at this stage whether he had a medical condition or if he just got tired.”
Snr Sgt Phillips said witnesses told police the man was trying to swim to the other side of the river where a swing was hanging from the trees.
“Witnesses told us he appeared to struggle and then he went under,” he said.
A report will be prepared for the Coroner. The man’s name hasn’t been released.
Fili Seto said he was sitting on the river bank with friends when he saw the man get into trouble.
“He was just swimming, bobbing up and down in the water like a dolphin, and then he put his hands up to say he was in trouble,” Mr Seto said.
“Then he just disappeared.”
Mr Seto and a friend leapt into the water when they couldn’t see the man.
“The current was really strong and we couldn’t swim against it so we just had to go with it but we couldn’t see him anywhere,” he said.
Ipswich man Eddy Muharem had just arrived with his mate Paul Crump and their families when they saw three boys in a frantic state near the water.
“We didn’t know what was going on but it didn’t look good so we ran down to help. Three young Samoan boys told us a man had come off a swing and landed in the water but never resurfaced,” Mr Muharem said.